Tuesday, August 30, 2016

REVIEW: The Basics of Ransom by Ian Maxwell

Ian Maxwell pitches his book Basics of Ransom a "thriller with deadbeats" but along the lines of "Harold and Kumar or Pineapple Express."

And that's a very accurate description.

A couple of stoner bros hatch a plot to kidnap tech wizard Frank Turner's wife so they can payoff some debts. But it turns out the "tech wizard" is as broke as they are. They demand $50,000 for her return, then quickly switch to half-a-mil. But it's not clear if Frank really wants her back.

Here are some of those basics of ransom:
1. Always start with a small advance, the pre-ransom
2. Make sure ransom is a tax deductible in your state
3. Does your employer have a ransom program?
4. If not, ransom can be swapped in lieu of alimony
5. Keep an eye out for the Katie Holmes Syndrome
6. Never call an uber for your hostage
7. Showmanship and pizazz are equally important
8. Always stick to the stipulated amount
9. Don’t order steaks minutes before the exchange
10. If you do, don’t pay for it with the ransom money

Basics of Ransom is chaotic and funny. Everyone from the stoner kidnappers to a mafia don is determined to screw things up. There are a couple of times where it goes off the rails, but that's all part of the fun. It's an enjoyable read for fans of crime fiction and/or comedy. I happen to be both. 

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